MAN CITY WOMEN 0, CHELSEA WOMEN 3
Manchester City’s reign as Vitality Women’s FA Cup holders is over following their semi-final defeat to Chelsea.
It was another disappointing day for City in what is turning out to be a challenging campaign in which their squad has been ravaged by injury.
Emma Hayes’ Chelsea were too strong for a City who were still without 10 players as goals from Erin Cuthbert, Melanie Leupolz and Beth England secured victory.Embed from Getty Images
City manager Gareth Taylor, whose side is languishing in ninth place in the Women’s Super League, said: “The first two goals we conceded in the first half ultimately decided the game.
“At half time I still felt we were in the game but needed to improv our quality in the final third. We looked dangerous and created chances.
“We are disappointed to go out and not get to the final and retain our trophy.”
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes was delighted with the performances and victory after the international break with players travelling as far as Australia and America.
She said: “We had a desire to produce a performance after a big international camp.
“We had not won a game here before in 90 minutes and did it convincingly.
“The players from the bench were fantastic and brought charisma to the performance.”
Hayes added she never thought the game was over until England’s scored their third in the 89th minute.
She explained: “I was annoyed at 2-0 as we had moments to make it 3-0.
“At 2-0 the game is so tricky, and the third goal was critical. Only then I thought it was comfortable.”
The match was initially a slow burner until Chelsea made the breakthrough mid-half with a clinical finish from Cuthbert.
It followed a corner from Fran Kirby which was only cleared to Cuthbert who from the right of the box found the net with a screamer.
It was the right winger’s third goal of the season for Cuthbert who also netted last week against Juventus in the Champions League.
Chelsea were in complete control by the 28th minute when German Leupolz doubled the lead with a low shot from the edge of the box which squirmed through the grasp of goalkeeper Karima Taieb for her first of the season.
It would have been 3-0 but for an important block by French goalkeeper Taieb to deny Aussie Sam Kerr who was put through by Kirby following a flowing move.
There were a couple more scrambles in the City six-yard box as Chelsea could have been out of sight by the break.
City had barely threatened the Chelsea goal with goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger a virtual spectator.
Taylor made a change at the break as Khadija Shaw was replaced by Jess Park.
Taieb kept City in the game with a fabulous save low to her left to deny Cuthbert soon after the restart.
City, who were a lot livelier but had no end product, made a second change mid half when Keira Walsh made way for Vicky Losada.
Chelsea were so comfortable they were able to take off strike duo Kerr and Kirby.
They added a third goal in the 89th minute thanks to substitutes Jess Fleming and England.
Fleming crossed from the right to the far post and England scored with a towering header high into the roof of the net.
City came close to a consolation in stoppage time when Park’s drive forced a terrific save from Berger to turn it on to the upright as she preserved a clean sheet.